The growing activity in Phnom Penh’s property market, especially in terms of new housing coming online, is driving strong growth in demand for furniture in the city. Ming Wuoy Furniture City is one of the city’s largest suppliers of home furniture. Its original four-storey shop on Street 214 opened in 2005, followed by the opening of its second outlet on Monivong Boulevard. Srun Chheangsreng, general manager of Ming Wuoy Furniture City, sat down with the Post to discuss Ming Wuoy and the current state of the furniture market in Cambodia.
Post: Could you please tell us briefly about your company?
Srun: Ming Wuoy is the first, biggest and most modern home furniture company in Cambodia. Since opening in 2005 we have earned many loyal customers who appreciate the quality of the products we sell.
What kinds of furniture do you sell?
We focus solely on home furniture. We offer a wide variety of products including beds, tables, sofas, mattresses, blankets and bedding and any other decorative furniture for the home.
What countries supply you with your imported furniture?
Ming Wuoy imports from China, Malaysia and Italy. We import products from factories known in their countries for a dedication to quality.
Who is your target customer base?
Our company concentrates on medium-income customers. It is obvious that this customer demographic is growing as the economy develops and more good jobs become available, increasing people’s incomes. We also find this group of people easier to serve.
What are Ming Wuoy’s competitive strengths in the Phnom Penh market?
We have many. Our two store locations are both conveniently located in central Phnom Penh. Our imported furniture is of high quality and of a style that our customers find appealing. We also price our furniture very competitively and focus on providing the highest level of service possible.
How have sales been in 2013?
Quite good. Sales at our two stores in the first 11 months of this year compare favorably with last year’s sales numbers.
How would you assess the current state of the home furnishing industry in Cambodia?
Well, consumption in Cambodia is much higher now than it was five or six years ago. The number of home furniture stores has grown, as has the number of homes outfitted with high-quality imported furniture. Not that long ago, there were not many large furniture stores, and only a few small ones sold modern furniture.
What are your feelings about the growing competition in this market?
We see many big companies opening like us, but our bottom line has not been affected by the increase in competition. We’re in a unique position in Cambodia’s home furniture market because our company was an early mover. Ming Wuoy also enjoys a very strong brand and a loyal customer base. Our products are of high quality, and we have ample show space plus free delivery and installation.
How do you see the home furnishing market here developing in the short-term?
I think the home furnishing industry will continue to grow for many reasons, most importantly due to rising standards of living, as illustrated by the large number of boreys [large residential developments], villas and condominiums. Secondly, the coming integration of ASEAN in 2015 will increase regional economic cooperation and create a larger market, which should drive expansion in construction of new villas and condominiums in Phnom Penh and nationwide. As construction grows during the coming two or three years, so will the market for home furniture.